Life Lessons and Legacy

It’s about lessons learned, it’s about giving a little piece of me each day to my daughter. In the end this will be her legacy. It won’t be an empire, it won’t be monetary gain, but will be far more precious to her then both those things combined. Whose life will she touch growing up? Will she see things differently? Will she know what to do with these life experiences?

For the next few hours, I will post once an hour, an interesting experiment. Will you remember the things I will mention here? What do you remember? In what way have I, or the people I mention here touched your life? Keep in mind what follows is my own observations and thoughts and are intended as a top down perspective. If I forgot you, please keep in mind the list is long and having to remember all this stuff clearly takes time and brain power. It wasn’t intentional, I assure you. Also for ease and space constraints, I’ll be jumping forward a lot. This is kind of a “Highlights reel”, of those who made impressions and left me with a legacy.

We often times take what’s around us, and the people we meet along the way for granted. Do we ever stop and think exactly what roles those people took in our lives? When we’re asked as children who our heroes are, how many of us responded with, “My best friend” or, “My parents”.  I seriously doubt any of us did. I began contemplating a week or so ago, about what it was I’d would eventually be leaving my daughter with, what kind of Legacy would be hers to take up? It occurred to me that it wasn’t just me that would leave an impression on her life; it was everyone she ever comes in contact with. This line of thought, led me to my own life and the people I ran across in growing up. Many of these people are still in my life in some form of fashion, those that are not, left me with something. What they left behind isn’t tangible, you can’t hold it in your hand and its far more precious than anything physical could be.

Most everyone knows where I was born, so I’ll skip this part, especially since I was too young to remember anything. Let me start in New Mexico, 1985 or so. I was five years old and we moved into the apartments in Rio Rancho. I was growing to the point in my life when things would leave impressions and what happened prior to that, really isn’t what this exercise is about. The family members that helped get me to five will play a bigger part in this later, so we’ll return to them.

When you talk about people that influence you growing up, often times it’s the first ones that last the longest as life goes on. This doesn’t really need to be just parents, often times its friends. When we lived in Rio Rancho we met a family of three. Each one of them left a mark in my life. The husband was a tall, rail thin man with a heart the size of Texas, drove trucks for a living, and would be gone for long periods of time. He loved his family and was the first to show me that work often required sacrifices. To this day the mother is like a second mom, who helped watch over me growing up at the apartments. She left me with the knowledge, that motherhood was more than a name; it was hard work and discipline. After all, she had, at times, three kids instead of just one.  Then there’s the daughter of these three fine people. Few things make an impact as a rock to the head. Although it wasn’t me that got hit in the head, it nevertheless makes an interesting way one enters another’s life. And so my second sister entered my life. As nerdy and carefree as I am, she was the kind of person that no matter what I did, she forgave me. Thus I learned humility and forgiveness.

Moving from the apartments to our house on Capri Court brought new life experiences. Here I met people that although left their mark on my life, didn’t stay on a path I could or wanted to follow. I did however meet one charismatic character who had a big impact on my life. We lost contact like most people do, but because I grew up and nostalgic, I perused finding him and only within the last few years have we reconnected. He taught me sacrifice and bravery, the kind of sacrifice made by jumping on a grenade. The kind of bravery one faces, when looking down the lions maw.

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Drawing Sketches and iPads (Update)

I can take it anywhere and don’t have to have a separate pencil and drawing pad if I want to bust out a sketch or something. One thing that I do fault with the App is the speed. Sometimes it lags and that can be a distraction.

A few weeks ago or so, I purchased a new toy. A Targus Stylus for my Apple iPad along with a slick App from Autodesk called Sketchpad. While the learning curve is more steep then I would have liked, it does work pretty well. Sketchpad doesn’t allow for detailed work, as much as Painter does. Although I think that’s more the fault of the stylus then the App. Still, what it lacks for in control over brushes and color, makes up for in portability. I mean it’s on my iPad. I can take it anywhere and don’t have to have a separate pencil and drawing pad if I want to bust out a sketch or something. One thing that I do fault with the App is the speed. Sometimes it lags and that can be a distraction.

So far, I haven’t done a whole lot. Here’s a work in progress of Catt. Once it’s finished I’ll post it.

UPDATE 8/10/11: I finished the drawing, and then exported it and finished it in Paintshop. Problem is, Autodesks format for PSD, which is used when saving the image, formatted the image weird. I was unable to read the layers with Paintshop, instead I had to first open it with Photoshop, re-save it, THEN I could edit its layers in Paintshop. Annoying, but not a major hiccup.


Catt WIP iPad 2011
Catt WIP iPad 2011
Catt ipad 2011 Finished
Catt iPad 2011 Finished

Top Ten Influential Films from my Childhood

Every kid had dreams about one day finding that mystical map in their back yard, telling their friends about it and heading out to seek fame and fortune.

When I first thought about writing something up about these movies, I began listing films and what they meant to me growing up. It then became clear, that this list can’t be contained with just 10… No, I needed more like 20. So I set about trimming the list down as far as possible. With the top 10 firmly in place, I realized I couldn’t just leave off movies. A fierce battle raged inside my head and finally, Honorable Mentions were settled upon. Feeling relieved to have quelled the heated argument with myself I set about reviewing WHAT each movie meant to me and placed them in a neat and orderly list. Fortunately, that part was easier.

Honorable Mention: Krull
Krull was one of the many fantasy themed movies that played a part in adolescence. It is also the only movie in this list, that I feel deserves a remake and update. This movie, while low on my list, worked to solidify the already growing thirst for medieval fantasy, swords, magic and good vs. evil. I recently re-watched this gem and must say, parts of it really didn’t age well. Regardless though, the life lessons learned from never trusting alien life forms stuck with me.

Honorable Mention: Ghostbusters
Oh man, talk about a movie that still echoes through the minds and hearts of those that grew up with this movie. Even to this day, twenty two years later since the second movie, the possibility of a third and final sequel gets tossed around entertainment news sites like popcorn. I ate up everything Ghostbusters related back in the day and I have to say, this movie holds up.

10.) Top Gun
Egos, bad ass machines, speed and a moral to the story? Yes please! Who didn’t like Tom Cruise back in the day? It’s probably saying something that two of his movies are on my list, but I’m not sure what that is. At any rate, this movie was everything I wanted to be: Egotistical and flying around with death machines, and… Uh, wait a sec… I found out later what it took to have the right stuff and decided to settle on private pilot aircraft was more my level. Ego busted. Still, this movie has a special place in my heart, right next to the Phoenix missiles and the lucky bunny foot.

9.) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
I don’t think any of the movies thought me nearly as much about archeology as much as this one did. Who knew it could be so AWESOME! Then, only to find out as a young adult, it wasn’t nearly as cool. Bummer… Well, who wouldn’t want archeology to be as glamorized as much as Harrison Ford made it out to be? Of the three Indiana movies of the 80’s, this one stuck out to me as a kid. I think it has something to do with the fact that Short Round, the comedic sidekick of Indy, was living out every kid of that era’s fantasy. Going on an adventure! Or it could have been the fact that we saw some dude get his heart ripped from his chest, shown to him, then tossed in a fiery pit. Archeology is FUN!

8.) Back to the Future
There are few movies like Back to the Future. A classic, I feel, of the 80’s, that stood up to time itself. Sure there are plot holes, but WHO CARES? Growing up, I didn’t care about paradox’s and the consequences of changing the fabric of time so you could get a sweet ass truck. Hell, if it were me, I would do it! Being hit on by your mom? Ok, that’s pushing things. Still, Marty (Michael J. Fox) along with his cooky Doc (Christopher Lloyd), would take on time and space and show me it’s ok to F’up peoples timeline. Now if only I could get my hands on a Delorean…

7.) Flight of the Navigator
Not nearly as iconic as E.T., Flight of the Navigator had two things in its favor. One, a cute little fuzzy creature thingy and two, a FRIGGEN AWESOME spaceship. Yeh, yeh, so the voice of the Spaceship was Pee Wee Herman… But come on, that thing was sleek, sparkly, and FAST. Who didn’t want to zip around the world in that thing or dive underwater? I’d take that over a Reeses eating, lost, child scaring alien any day. This movie kind of disappeared into obscurity after the 80’s were over. There are aspects of it that didn’t age to well looking back on it, but is it enough to have disappeared?

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